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Ice breaker games make a crucial difference to your meeting, training or team building. They help create an open and trusting atmosphere and are a great way to build team dynamics, energize, spark ideas and have fun.

Here are a few  ice breaker games designed to ease introductions, boost energy and creativity in any group setting.

Treasury Box

This icebreaker creates team individualism and builds team spirit by helping members explore each others skills, talents and special knowledge. It also builds self-esteem as members share their strengths and discover what makes them unique and productive.

Start by explaining  that skills and talents are portable and every member of the team is bringing  a box full of knowledge and skills to the team. This next activity will help  fill the team's treasury box. 

Distribute 3 x 5 cards. Ask participants to write their names on the cards and below their names list two specialties or skills that they bring to the team e.g., knowledge of project management, organizational skills, or proposal writing. When participants complete the cards, have them stick  the cards in a flip chart and engage everyone in exploratory conversations about the items.

During the discussions team members will be able to learn new things about each other and become aware of each others strengths.

Once the discussions are finalized put all the cards in a box, labeled treasury box. Itemize it after the meeting and place the box in a popular spot in the office. Encourage team members to open it and read it every time they need encouragement or support on special tasks.


This ice breaker helps obtain several possible solutions of suggestions for the participants current challenges or issues.  The seating is an important element in this exercise. All the participants should be sitting in a circle. Ask each person to think about an actual job-related problem or concern. Each person writes his or her problem on a blank sheet of paper. E.g “how can I get more team engagement?” Or,” how can I get my team more punctual?” After allowing a few minutes to think about and write out their problems, ask each person to pass his or her problem sheet to the right. That person reads the problem just received and  writes down the first thought(s) that come to mind  for addressing that problem. Allow 30 seconds to respond to that individual sheet. Repeat this  rotational process every 30 seconds, and the process  going until each person gets his or her own sheet back. Time permitting, they can then discuss some of the more practical solutions they received. 

One of the most intercative of ice breaker games is the Puzzle- Making. It's fun and deliveres strong messages.


Participants enjoy this activity because it engages them in cooperation quickly. Use it at any time to make a point about interdependence, the necessity of having everyone's input, or the importance of regular communication. Bring a 50-piece puzzle and divide the pieces from each puzzle into four small bags. Put one complete puzzle,four bags on each table. Organize participants into four sub-groups.  

Ask each group to pick a bag of puzzles. Explain that they are going to put a puzzle together with their teammates, but they have to follow instructions closely: For the first 2 minutes, they should begin putting their puzzle pieces together by alternating turns. They are not allowed to talk or touch one another's pieces. When the 2 minutes have passed, they should continue taking turns putting pieces in silence, but they may begin touching one another's pieces. Continue for 2 minutes. Finally, they will have 5 minutes to finish putting the puzzle together in any way they would like. Talking will be permitted during the last 5 minutes.

After the final 5 minutes, stop the puzzle making. Ask participants for observations and feedback. Deliver the message that we often find ourselves doing things in isolation without involving one another. When we involve one another, using all of the pieces and communicating in many different ways, we have a greater chance for successful completion of a project.



In order for ice breaker games to be effective they should offer the participants (despite the group size) the following:

  1. a safe environment
  2. conversation topics that are interesting and non-threatening
  3. action to enable the group to relive tension or nervousness.
  4. the possibility for laugher and fun, for the same reason.

Planning ice breaker games:

When planning to use ice breaker games always clarify objectives - plan with a clear message and structure.

Find the right time to implement them (intimidation, low energy, introductions etc.)

Related Articles:

Free Team Building Activities

Team Building Strategies

Team Building Skills

Effective Meetings

Return from Ice Breaker Games to Team Building Skills

Outstanding Leaders consider themselves a work in progress
 Dr Franklin C. Ashby 

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